Years ago, I taught in a charming neighborhood school alongside an early elementary teacher named Herm.  He was beloved by his students and their parents. He’d stay after school and facilitate what he called “Family Night”. It was sort of like a workshop. Everyone brought their own food. Everyone sat in a circle. Everyone contributed. There wasn’t a planned topic, yet there always seemed to be something to talk about. Parents shared what worked and what didn’t, and they helped each other navigate the dynamics of family and raising a child. They gave tips. They validated each other. 

You’ve probably heard the saying that parents are their child’s first teacher. We all know that to be true. During this time of virtual learning, many parents are revisiting those skills, perhaps in the kitchen or at the computer. At the same time, virtual learning is expanding student interdependence and independence. Enter the “I do, we do, you do” method of teaching and learning. Once a goal is set, steps are put in place to allow for achievement. You probably have been employing this and didn’t know it had a name! 

For example, think back to the time your child learned to ride a bike. 

I Do- child watches how to ride a bike, child listens to instructions and the instructor talking the process through aloud.

WE Do- child practices riding the bike with the help of the instructor, receiving “expert” feedback and assistance as needed.

YOU Do- child practices riding the bike independently as many times as possible to gain mastery.

In my classroom, the kids know that one of my absolute favorite questions is, “Did you know?”

My ears perk up when a student wants to share with me something they learned. Allow me to  share a “did you know” with you. 

Congratulations! Did you know that you’ve been doing this all along? 

 Michelle Johnson

ELA Teacher